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Old 10-07-2014, 01:12 PM   #1
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Default Non-Food Rewards

Hi Everyone!

So, I've been searching around the web for ideas on how to reward myself for pounds lost, and since my husband is also using myfitnesspal (he has about 50 pounds to lose, so less than half what I do), we sat down together last night and brainstormed. Here's that we came up with for ourselves:

Every ~ten pounds (20 for the first drop, since it is going a lot faster), we get a "small" reward. There are a few landmarks along the way where we get a medium reward instead, and at our goal weight we get a large reward.

We've also set up rewards for maintenance once we get to our goal weights. At least for the first year or two, we'll get a reward every month if we're maintaining. Every three months we'll get a medium reward instead, and after each full year of maintenance we get a large reward. This will coincide really well with stuff we plan to do anyway, like take vacation - but it means we can choose to go somewhere exotic instead of staying in town, if we're still maintaining.

Small ($60-80)
LUSH (Bath stuff. Super exciting.)
David's Tea (Another obsession.)
Whisky/Liquor (I collect whisky.)
Haircut/Style
Shave (At a barber shop, goal for hubby obviously)
Pedicure
Books/Magazines
Flowers
Goldfish (Have empty tank I want to fix up)
Leather Wallet
Night Out (Dancing & drinks - I don't count this as food because I don't drink all that much or often, but it might not work for some people)

Medium ($120-250)
Massage
Leather Bag (Purse/Messenger Bag)
Shoes
New Watch
New Dress
Clothing
Swimsuit
Nice Underwear
Water Park
Go Karting
Gun Range
Motorcycle Lessons
Computer Parts (Hubby is building a PC)

Large ($500+)
Spa Day
Trip/Vacation
Wardrobe Makeover
New Phone
New Computer

Our rewards might seem a bit pricey, but for ourselves we've justified it in three ways:
1) Our health, well-being, and having more energy is worth more than any amount of money in our bank account;
2) Generally we have a very strict budget, so these aren't things we're buying for any other reason than meeting our goals (not to mention, the budget strictness is to keep us from eating out so the money would have been spent on making us fatter anyway); and
3) the rewards need to be big enough that we're actually really excited about them, and wouldn't normally buy them for ourselves with our biweekly allowance.

I really don't want to build food up in my head as a goal in itself - food is a normal part of my day and sometimes I eat exciting food that's not in my usual diet, anyway (it's not a reward, it's a splurge!). So, no food rewards here, guys.

Do you guys set rewards for yourselves for specific goals?
What kinds of rewards keep you motivated?
Do you use your weight, accomplishments, BMI, body fat, or something else as a goal?


Once we've shed a good portion of our pounds, we might revise our goals to be based on body fat percent. We used to get DXA scans done and I wouldn't mind getting them done every couple months when I get closer to goal and am doing a lot more activity and possibly some weightlifting (taking it slow as far as exercise goes, for now). Might even use the DXA scans as a reward in themselves.

Oh, also: When I get down to 200 pounds I get a (second) kitten!
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Old 10-07-2014, 02:01 PM   #2
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I am planning small rewards for every 15lbs lost, with medium rewards for some of the more significant milestones such as no longer being obese, getting under 200, and no longer being overweight. Major reward for hitting goal, and then another major reward for maintaining. Once I'm under 200 I'll likely switch to a small goal every 10lbs, or to a certain percent of weight lost.

Small Rewards ($0-$70)
Extra special massage from boyfriend
Nail Polish (I currently have zero nail polish, I don't wear it often enough to normally justify a purchase, but would kind of like some)
Video games I've been wanting
Kindle books I've been wanting
Make-up products (I rarely wear make-up, so I tend to have a lot of really cheapy stuff currently)
Picture frames for walls
Nice spice rack to hang in kitchen

Medium Rewards ($70-$200)
New Blender/Juicer
Minor Clothes Shopping Spree
New Computer Chair

Large Rewards ($500+)
Wardrobe overhaul

We are also planning a trip to Disney World in three years. If I reach goal weight, and then maintain up until when we get the tickets (which won't be for two years cause you can only buy them 365 days in advance) then we get to stay in a nicer hotel in the park. If not we're still in the park, just at one of the cheaper ones.

I'd like to get an elliptical machine for home use, as I love those things, but sadly there's just no space in our apartment to put it Maybe by the time I lose all this weight we'll have a house, lol.
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Last edited by sunarie : 10-07-2014 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 10-07-2014, 03:48 PM   #3
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Oooh new computer chair... that's a good one. Right now I use a folding chair at my desk at home! But I refuse to buy anything upholstered off craigslist (since a bedbug incident years ago), and I don't want to go cheap, so I've been holding off for a long time.

Appliances are a good plan too. I keep thinking about getting an electronic pressure cooker and learning how to cook with it, but it's not the sort of thing that's in our budget. So I might add that to our list.

You are a trove of good ideas!

I also love the elliptical, and would probably use it consistently... but same story, tiny apartment with no space. The nice thing is, our budget restrictions (which are keeping us from eating out, thus helping us lose weight) are helping us save money. And even if we can only afford our own 2 bedroom apartment then, at least we might be able to move into a building with a gym.
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Old 10-07-2014, 05:02 PM   #4
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Wow. Amazing list.

When i am at or below goal my "reward" is prob' getting p90x w/ some nice cross train sneakers and start strength training.
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Old 10-07-2014, 05:15 PM   #5
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my one and only BIG BIG GOAL is to be able to travel to the Czech Republic and poke around little villages to my heart's content, walking, hiking, researching my family and their history there...and be able to do it while in shape, healthy and with my back in the best shape it can be despite spinal damage....I don't want to travel all the way there and have to move slowly with a cane or whatever and be older and hard to get around....i want to be one of those ladies in the senior vitamins commercials
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Old 10-07-2014, 05:31 PM   #6
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Thanks Faoira, I may steal some of your ideas too. A spa day I may do as a medium reward, and then use it some more for keeping up with maintenance a ways down the line. I've only ever been to a spa once, but it was relaxing! I could definitely use a new phone as well, but that's well over budget, especially since I'm not contracted with anyone and just do the straight talk stuff. So I'd have to pay full price for the phone, for the fancy ones that's a good $500+ dollars to be spending.

The computer chair I am in need of, lol. I work from home and my current chair is along the lines of this
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Old 10-07-2014, 07:34 PM   #7
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Ooo, RawrGirl never even thought of rewards this time around (she just gained back who knows how much of what she finally lost 2 years ago after 22+ years of trying). Her reward had just been fitting back into her new clothers (she threw away all her fat clothes and now lives in sweats ).

Small

<30 inch waist: French Manicure ($30)

Medium

<29 inch waist: Hair Extensions ($100)

<28 inch waist: Eyelash Perm ($50)

Large (Goal) 27 inch waist:

Belly Dance Costume ($150-$200)

Haha...RawrGirl just realized her goals make her seem like some kind of appearance obsessed diva. In truth, RawrGirl never wears makeup and most days forgets to even brush her hair (you've no idea how many times she gets to work and realizes her hair is a tangled mess in the back). However, RawrGirl likes to dress up and wear makeup for in-home dates with Prince Charming on Friday and Saturday nights. And when she is thin enough to feel pretty, she belly dances for him (and only him), which is what the hair extensions are for.

RawrGirl thinks she pays so little to her appearance, because she doesn't feel pretty, so what's the point of trying. But forgetting to brush one's hair??? RawrGirl feels much shame over that.

But when she does feel pretty, she likes to feel glamourous.



RawrGirl's WeightLoss Diary: http://rawrgirlsweightlossdiary.blogspot.com/

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Old 10-08-2014, 07:49 AM   #8
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I do Weight Watchers and there is a DSW next door. Enough said.

At my ultimate goal (175'ish) I will have a shopping spree/wardrobe make over. Aside from that, the occasional pair of shoes works for me.
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Old 10-08-2014, 10:41 AM   #9
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No, I don't do rewards. I don't like to bribe myself for losing pounds because I enjoy doing those things anyway and wouldn't want to withhold the few indulgences I splurge on just for being my fabulous self already. I don't like to punish myself for being fat. I enjoy what I can when I can and if there are things I'm working towards they are only contingent upon finances and time. Like one thing I am saving for is to be able to afford a personal stylist - not a full time thing but a one off, where she can come and analyze my closet, help me pull a few outfits together and take me shopping to get some must-have items since shopping can be so confusing for me. I'm not waiting until I reach a particular weight though, it's just when I have enough money saved to do it and if I'm still a size 14 then so be it!

Life has its own rewards as long as I'm willing to open my eyes and mind and allow them to happen. I've had a really bad virus last week and haven't been able to go out for my walks for days and days! So today eventhough I'm still not feeling 100% I went on a leisurely walk to the park this morning. Our park is beautiful eventhough it's smack in the middle of the city. It's right by the river and it looks out into the Manhattan skyline and completely covered in trees whose leaves are starting to turn beautiful shades of orange. I go straight to the track which is full of go-getters working out. I'm always amazed at what lengths people will go to for fitness. People are completely themselves when working out in public, there are the old ladies doing tai chi by the water, the old men walking their dog, the young yuppies that run and run and run and then jump in the shower and head straight to work, the overweight ladies who are making their best efforts to get in shape, and the whole lot of people who abandon their self consciousness to do squats and lunges all around the track. I think I may have smiled the entire time I was there, I was walking really slow at 18min/mile but I couldn't have been happier. That feeling is staying with me all day. I don't need to buy myself something to make me feel good.
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Old 10-08-2014, 12:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunarie View Post
I could definitely use a new phone as well, but that's well over budget, especially since I'm not contracted with anyone and just do the straight talk stuff. So I'd have to pay full price for the phone, for the fancy ones that's a good $500+ dollars to be spending.
Yeah, we do the same thing (well, we use data but we're not on contract). Even on contract you end up paying full price in the long run (at least you do here) because you have to get a more expensive plan if you get your phone through the company. Also, it gives them more control over your device, and features can be locked on your phone. So we bought our iPhones outright.

But they're expensive to replace... so we will call them a "big" reward. If I have to pick between a new phone and a vacation, I'll probably pick the vacation. And it makes me feel a bit better about hanging onto my older phone - it's worth it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wannabeskinny View Post
No, I don't do rewards. I don't like to bribe myself for losing pounds because I enjoy doing those things anyway and wouldn't want to withhold the few indulgences I splurge on just for being my fabulous self already. I don't like to punish myself for being fat.
You're right: it's technically bribery. But I think a lot of it is about mindset. I don't feel like I'm bribing myself; I feel like I'm celebrating achievements and giving myself something to look forward to.

For my husband and I, it's not a punishment if we don't get the reward, because the only reason we can justify the cost is because our health comes before our money. The default position is "we really need to save money" - so losing weight is a special circumstance.

I still love myself, and I also wouldn't want to punish myself for being fat. But I'd really like to celebrate making myself healthy and having the ability to do new and exciting things. Go-Karting is going to be super fun, for instance. My hubby and I were thinking our track times might get better as we lose weight, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wannabeskinny View Post
I think I may have smiled the entire time I was there, I was walking really slow at 18min/mile but I couldn't have been happier. That feeling is staying with me all day. I don't need to buy myself something to make me feel good.
I think most things in life that really stick with a person and matter are experiences, not objects. So if the goal is to feel good regularly (a great goal I think, especially when it gives me something to enjoy other than food), you've got the right idea. Do fun stuff.

I think of rewards as a separate thing. They're more about giving me something to be excited about so I remember to stick to my plan. Too many times I've stopped eating healthy food because I (conveniently, I suppose) forgot to log my food after the first missed day, or it was just too easy to eat out.

It seems a lot more worth-it to cook & log food if it means I can spend $60 at LUSH in a couple weeks.

Anyway, I'm not trying to convince you. Just explaining why it works for me. Keep being fabulous.

-Fai
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Old 10-08-2014, 12:46 PM   #11
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These are some very creative ideas!

My first goal was to get under 200 pounds, and buy myself a new belly button ring. I've had the same one for a long, long time and I thought it would be a nice way to jazz up my (hopefully soon to be flatter) tummy lol So not only is it a reward, it's an incentive!

I *think* my "reward" for my next goal (179, no longer obese) is a drastic haircut - a pixie cut. But I'm still talking myself up to it, as it's not really a reward, but something that will require me to really work on my confidence.

I don't like to set clothes as rewards because I prefer to buy them as I need them. Though when I hit maintenance, I will begin gradually picking up a better wardrobe (I mostly shop at Goodwill right now).
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Old 10-08-2014, 12:48 PM   #12
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We don't have all that much money to spend... Grad school loan repayments and all.

But I do get a new book for every 10 pounds.

I'll get a fancy new camera at 100 pounds.

And I get to take a photography class at goal.

When I hit the other various mini-goals in my signature I'll get other rewards. I think for the next one I'm getting an elliptical.
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Old 10-08-2014, 12:56 PM   #13
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We don't have all that much money to spend... Grad school loan repayments and all.

But I do get a new book for every 10 pounds.

I'll get a fancy new camera at 100 pounds.

And I get to take a photography class at goal.

When I hit the other various mini-goals in my signature I'll get other rewards. I think for the next one I'm getting an elliptical.
Yeah, that's a good point... I didn't mean to alienate anyone.
But I do think it's important to make the reward big enough that the things you get are something you can really look forward to, and/or don't get to have very often. The books are a good idea! I might actually add those to my list. They seem so frivolous when the library is a short walk away, but I do love owning books I love.
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Old 10-08-2014, 01:18 PM   #14
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I must have no imagination. My big reward was updating my ticker.
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Old 10-08-2014, 01:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faiora View Post

You're right: it's technically bribery. But I think a lot of it is about mindset. I don't feel like I'm bribing myself; I feel like I'm celebrating achievements and giving myself something to look forward to.

For my husband and I, it's not a punishment if we don't get the reward, because the only reason we can justify the cost is because our health comes before our money. The default position is "we really need to save money" - so losing weight is a special circumstance.

I still love myself, and I also wouldn't want to punish myself for being fat. But I'd really like to celebrate making myself healthy and having the ability to do new and exciting things. Go-Karting is going to be super fun, for instance. My hubby and I were thinking our track times might get better as we lose weight, too.



I think most things in life that really stick with a person and matter are experiences, not objects. So if the goal is to feel good regularly (a great goal I think, especially when it gives me something to enjoy other than food), you've got the right idea. Do fun stuff.

I think of rewards as a separate thing. They're more about giving me something to be excited about so I remember to stick to my plan. Too many times I've stopped eating healthy food because I (conveniently, I suppose) forgot to log my food after the first missed day, or it was just too easy to eat out.

It seems a lot more worth-it to cook & log food if it means I can spend $60 at LUSH in a couple weeks.

Anyway, I'm not trying to convince you. Just explaining why it works for me. Keep being fabulous.

-Fai
I don't judge anyone for using rewards, I understand the appeal of it and used to do it myself. I never actually earned any of my rewards to tell you the truth though. I was in constant yoyo so even the small rewards came around and I'd gain the weight back. The rewards are incentive to lose, but not to maintain. And they keep the focus off of what is important really, I've only lost 20lbs in months with my current program but I try to stay positive about how I feel. I think I may have outgrown the need to achieve achieve achieve. Even the reward system now seems punitive.
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